North Dakota is the 39th state (11/2/1889) on our 50 State Tour of poets laureate.
Larry Woiwode (pronounced "why-woody") has been the Peace Garden State's poet laureate since 1995. He's also an award-winning novelist, writes fiction and nonfiction, and teaches at North Dakota's Jamestown College.
But after a long search, I gave up looking for a poem by Woiwode posted on the Internet.
Which made me wonder... why do some poets embrace the World Wide Web, while others go Internet-Incognito.
There is danger in posting a poem. People will be able to read your work without paying for anything, they might post a poem, share it, plagiarize.
But the flip side is, people might enjoy your work and seek out more of it.
Still, I'm surprised that a Guggenheim Fellow and National Book Award finalist like Woiwode isn't represented on sites like the Academy of American Poets, Poetry Foundation, The Writer's Almanac and Poetry Out Loud. (Woiwode has some poems available online through The New Yorker magazine, but you have to be a subscriber to access them.)
If you'd like to know more about this mystery man, there's a review of his memoir, "A Step from Death" here.
The Writer's Center (here in Maryland) did a "Whatever Happened to?" post on Woiwode.
To represent North Dakota, I'm sharing a James Wright poem, "Outside Fargo, North Dakota." I like the way this one refers to the writing process -- read to the poem's end to see what I mean.
Outside Fargo, North Dakota
by James Wright
Along the sprawled body of the derailed Great Northern freight car,
I strike a match slowly and lift it slowly.
Beyond town, three heavy white horses
Wade all the way to their shoulders
In a silo shadow.
Suddenly the freight car lurches.
The door slams back, a man with a flashlight
Calls me good evening.
Read the rest of the poem here.
Poets -- how do you feel about posting your work on the Internet? What are the hazards? The positives? Tips you have about sharing poems in a way that's comfortable?